When you think of pocket and key chain tools the first name that comes to your mind is Peter Atwood. There is such a following for these miniature works of art that they become incredibly hard to find and sometimes you pay more than you would if you get them directly from Peter. I knew there had to be some folks out there besides Peter and I went on my quest to find other pocket tool manufacturers. What hit me were there a quite a few folks who either make tools full time or dabble in them a little as a side project. Most of them are folks who no longer make them and getting your hands on one is next to impossible. But alas there is hope; I came upon a gentleman named Ray Kirk who runs rakerknives.com. Ray is a custom knife maker who makes fixed blades as well as some folders; his new found love though is for a tool he called the Raker Ring Tool.
The Ring Tool is a nice little key chain tool designed to serve a couple different functions and is made out of several different materials. The Ring Tool comes in Damascus, ATS 34, 440C and 52100 carbon steel. I have never seen so many options to choose from in materials for a pocket tool and it's nice that they can be chosen by the customer and not restricted to one specific choice. The Damascus model is the thickest and heaviest of them all, while the 440-C was slightly over sized at 1/8". The 52100 was the correct size that he wanted the tool to be and the ATS-34 was 3/32”. The ATS model is by far the lightest and is recommend as the better of the four tools due to its weight as well as edge retention.
Ray's idea and dream for the Ring Tool is to have a tool that will be on your person at all times and assist you in some daily tasks as well as the possibility of saving your life. The Ring Tool features a pry/screwdriver on one end of the tool which serves quite well for light prying as well as flat and some Phillips screws. In the center of the tool we have an oxygen wrench that depending on the model can also serve as a tool for removing a broad head arrow. At the opposite end of the tool is a ¼ inch cut out that can be used for virtually anything that will fit in there. I found it works pretty well as an impromptu hex driver. The real meat of the tool and its primary function is that it's a cutting tool. On the underside of the tool is a seatbelt cutter, this cutter works for a variety of materials as well as seat belts and comes in rather handy for those time you either don't have a knife or don't want to pull one out due to scarring certain folks.
The Ring Tool is born out of necessity; Ray wanted everyone to be able to have an affordable rescue seatbelt cutter that would be as popular as your car jack you keep in your trunk and as close as your ignition. The market for emergency seat belt cutters and other various types of rescue tools is quite huge, yet there are millions of folks out there who don't have one. Ray feels everyone should have such a tool and know that if needed it can be called upon to save your life or someone else's. The cutting area of the tool works well not only on seat belts but other materials such as braided fishing line, para cord and pretty much anything you can fit in there that may need cutting (within reason). I really think the tool shines with this feature in the respect it can be used in many situation when opening and using your pocket knife would defiantly be out of the question.
The other main feature of the tool I want to focus on is the pry end or screwdriver tip. The Ring Tool originally featured an angled tip that was suppose to be designed to work well on Phillips head screws as well as flat heads. The tool however does not do well on Phillips but does real well with the flats. Ray is going back to his original design for now where the tip of the tool (like on the Damascus model) and it works quite well on both the above mentioned screw types. There is still are some changes that Ray is going to make to this tool since he is constantly looking at feedback from his tools and finding ways to make them better at what they do. His current focus is changing the pry end of the tool and making it excel at both screw types while still being strong enough for prying tasks.
The Raker Ring tool is an excellent little key chain tool that does what it is intended to do in spite of some minor tweaking that still needs to be done. Ray offers them at a pretty fair price on his website and it's quite a bit cheaper than tools made by some of the other pocket tool manufacturers. For those folks interested in getting the Ring Tool in a bulk order he has let me know that people who buy 50 or more will have the option of making a modification to the wrench opening to fit the customers needs. If your interested in a having a nice custom piece key chain tool that won't break the bank (and sure to raise some eyebrows) check out rakerknives.com and tell him we sent you.
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